No One Left to Tell
Walking the dog. An act so routine most people don’t even think much about it as they put on their shoes and snap on the leash. But sometimes waiting on the other side of that door is a big surprise. That’s the case for the heroine of this novel as she takes her pooch for a stroll and her life changes forever.
Paige Holden is walking her awesome friend Peabody when a minivan crashes into the lamp post they are standing at. Driving the car is Elena Munoz, a pro bono client Paige’s PI agency had taken on recently. The van has been shot up, Elena is clearly in bad shape. Then things go from bad to worse as a sniper puts a neat hole in the middle of Elena’s forehead. Fortunately, Elena was able to pass on some crucial information before the killer finished her off.
State’s Attorney Grayson Smith is a man dedicated to his job. He firmly believes in vigorous prosecution of the offender. Five years earlier he used all his skills to put a murderer behind bars. Now a lovely rookie PI stands before him weaving a tale of set up, murder for hire, and corrupt police officials. As he and Paige begin to unravel the evidence given to them by Elena they find themselves on the run from the enemy, with only a few key people they know they can trust. Can they bring this case to justice? Or will the killer add them to his body count?
This is taut, thrilling, exciting romantic suspense. It begins with the murder of a young woman named Crystal, whom we know is involved in a blackmail scheme. She is found strangled on the estate of a wealthy, powerful family. But who killed her? A young gardener named Ramon Munoz is accused of the crime. The evidence – his fingerprints, found on the murder weapon which was found in his apartment – provides a slam dunk for the prosecution. His wife Elena and mother Maria are the only ones who believe in his innocence. When all other roads seem closed to them, they try to solve the case themselves and as backup, hire Paige. When Elena passes Paige vital information seconds before she dies, she puts everything she has sacrificed for into the hands of a near stranger. She picked the right woman. Heeding Elena’s advice not to trust the police, Paige and her partner Clay research just who they can trust in the Baltimore District Attorney’s Office. They determine Grayson is their man.
Grayson’s meeting with Paige is as explosive as the rest of the novel. He was familiar with her from news media covering the accident and sniper shooting. When he sees her in his court room he follows her, arriving at the parking garage in the nick of time to thwart an unfortunate event. Paige is attracted to her rescuer from the beginning. Hard bodied, steely eyed, and handsome, he is the stuff of any woman’s dreams. But slowly she realizes he is so much more than just a terrific package wrapped around a clever brain. If anything can see them through the dark days ahead it is Grayson’s heart, courage, and integrity. Since Paige has wit, strength, and ingenuity, the two can make an unstoppable pair. But is it only for fighting crime – or will they have a relationship for the slow days as well as the dangerous ones?
Paige is a terrific heroine. She is perfect for this kind of story – strong in body and soul, and smart and with the kind of knowledge needed to get through the hazardous times stretching ahead. She has an interesting back story which really helps highlight her strength of character. I liked her relationship with her friends and I also enjoyed watching her interact with Grayson’s sister Holly, who has Downs syndrome. She’s just an all around well written character. The same can be said for Grayson. He has a hidden history which is fascinating, but he is defined more by his present – he’s devoted to his job, his family, and the ideal of justice. He and Paige make a terrific pair. They have strong chemistry but they also just fit well together. Like in most romantic suspense, the hero and heroine don’t get a lot of time alone where they are not dodging bullets or investigating their mystery. In spite of that, we got a good feel for who these two are together and apart. Their romance was definitely a part of the novel and not just an afterthought.
I also thoroughly enjoyed the secondary characters. I knew I would be seeing many of them in future novels, and rather than giving my usual resigned sigh I was excited and happy to think of it. I especially liked Holly and Joseph from Grayson’s family. I was less excited about a possible pairing I see coming for Paige’s partner Clay, but then he hasn’t quite redeemed himself in my eyes from the last book. Maybe by the end of the next I’ll be thinking more kindly of him.
The only thing that kept the book from being a DIK for me was the hidden history I mentioned of Grayson’s. I would like to have seen that explored a lot more. It just seems it would have a huge impact upon a person and I wondered how he dealt with it other than by becoming an enforcer of the law. I also felt his mom seemed to have rebounded a little too quickly from something that would make you question everything around you and your every judgement call. I think the emotional scars should have been a bit more evident.
I am glad to give this book a wholehearted recommend. For romantic suspense fans you are going to be hard pressed to find a better novel than this. For romance fans in general, the love story in this one makes for good reading. Don’t start it right before bed. You won’t want to put it down till you’re done.